Details of Monsanto deal with Pima County are released

Tucsonans march against Monsanto's presence in Pima County in 2013./YouTube
Tucsonans march against Monsanto’s presence in Pima County in 2013./YouTube

By Murphy Woodhouse | Arizona Daily Star

Land near the intersection of Twin Peaks and Sanders roads near Marana is where Monsanto’s 7-acre automated corn-growing greenhouse would be built.

After months of private negotiations, the details of the county’s deal with agribusiness giant Monsanto are now public.

According to the terms, which are set to go before the Board of Supervisors for approval Tuesday, Pima County will lend its support to the company’s application to the U.S. Commerce Department for a 10-year free-trade-zone designation, which comes with substantial savings in county property taxes.

In exchange, Monsanto pledges to spend at least $90 million on its 7-acre automated corn-growing greenhouse; employ at least 25 full-time and 25 part-time workers at an average annual salary of at least $44,000; and provide health, dental, and retirement benefits, according to a memorandum from County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry released Thursday.

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